Daily Archives: 03/14/2011

Banana dose equivalents of radiation from Japanese Accident

I thought this really gave me a sense of how bad the radiation is.  Thirty bananas doesn’t sound so bad.  But it could increase I imagine.

Watt’s up with that – The average radiologic profile of bananas is 3520 picocuries per kg, or roughly 520 picocuries per 150g banana. The equivalent dose for 365 bananas (one per day for a year) is 3.6 millirems (36 μSv).
Another way to consider the concept is by comparing the risk from radiation-induced cancer to that from cancer from other sources. For instance, a radiation exposure of 10 mrems (10,000,000,000 picorems) increases your risk of death by about one in one million—the same risk as eating 40 tablespoons of peanut butter, or of smoking 1.4 cigarettes.
Japanese radiation readings:

Monitoring of radiation levels on the spot is ongoing. At point MP4, where a reading of 1,015μSv was detected yesterday, a radiation level of 44.6μSv was recorded at 00:30 this morning, and a level of 36.7μSv at 6:00am. After the start of venting around 9:20, a reading of 76.9μSv was recorded at 9:20 and of 70.3μSv at 9:30.

The radiation spiked up to 30 bananas a day and then fell back down to 1 to 2 bananas per day.

After the Three Mile Island nuclear accident, the NRC detected radioactive iodine in local milk at levels of 20 picocuries/liter, a dose much less than one would receive from ingesting a single banana. Thus a 12 fl oz glass of the slightly radioactive milk would have about 1/75th BED (banana equivalent dose).
Further Reading
Radiation and Risks – Various amounts of normal radiation
1400 millirem for a gastrointestinal examination series (14,000 microSv)
200 millirem for one year in an average house from Radon (2,000 microSv)
360 millirem average annual dose for someone in the USA (3600 microSv)
660 millirem per year for your whole career might have a life expectancy loss of 15 days
1360 millirem per year for your entire working career might have an expected loss of 51 days
A manufacturing career reduces life expectancy by 40 days
100 rem definitely causes damage (10000000 microSv, 1 Sv)
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Banana dose equivalents of radiation
noreply@blogger.com (bw)
Tue, 15 Mar 2011 01:36:41 GMT


Partial Meltdowns Led to Hydrogen Explosions at Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant

This (from Scientific American)I thought was a pretty good round up on the situation with the reactors.  Especially I now understand the explosions and why they are happening.  Apparently the great heat eventually strips hydrogen from water and as that builds up an explosion is possible.  Interestingly nothing is said if the stripping of the hydrogen also provides Oxygen, but it would have to would it not?  If anyone knows please comment.

Just after 6 AM local time on Tuesday in Japan, a sound like an explosion was heard near the suppression pool of reactor No. 2 at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. This followed an explosion March 11 that ripped the roof off reactor No. 1 and another at reactor No. 3 on March 14 that injured 11 workers. The culprit in all three cases is likely a build-up of explosive hydrogen gas–as occurred at Three Mile Island in the U.S. in 1979 as a result of the meltdown there–caused by nuclear fuel rods experiencing extremely high temperatures stripping the hydrogen out of the plant’s steam. [More]
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Partial Meltdowns Led to Hydrogen Explosions at Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant
Tue, 15 Mar 2011 03:01:00 GMT

A different view of the Great Recession – Scott Sumner Presentation

Among lay people and professionals, it seems like the Recession’s accepted cause is a dependent on your ideology.  Conservative blame it on collapse of housing due to giving mortgages to poor people by bleeding hearts.  Liberals blame greedy banks to some degree for the same thing.  Another view is that monetary policy was too tight.  You may not agree, but I think you can at least learn something from this well done presentation of that third view.

Scott Sumner presents his views on the Great Recession to the Warwick Economic Summit via this video:
For more on Scott’s views see here.

Scott Sumner Presentation
david.beckworth@gmail.com (David Beckworth)
Mon, 07 Mar 2011 00:11:00 GMT

State and Local Pay vs. Private Pay

Donald Marron

via State and Local Pay vs. Private Pay.